Android users are often left wanting more when it comes to their phone’s camera. An ex-Google exec even thinks Androids are years behind the iPhone when it comes to photography.
But the Google Camera app just got a major update, including a much-wanted selfie flash. It’s available to anyone with Nexus and Pixel devices using Android 7.1.1 and above.
While the update only includes a handful of minor changes, they actually add up to making the photography experience on Android much better.
The most noteworthy and obvious change is the new selfie “flash.” Now, when you go to take a photo with your front-facing camera, the phone’s screen will fill with a bright manilla color to shine some light on your face. It’s not perfect, but it’s better than nothing, especially in low-light settings.
Before this update, Google Camera users either had to send a creepily lit selfie, hope to find a lamp nearby, of turn their phone around to take a selfie using the back-facing camera.
Another addition is a quick zooming capability. Double tap to automatically zoom in and back out. Before this existed, you had to use the zoom bar. But note that double tapping will zoom to the same focal distance every time, so the zoom bar is still the way to go if want a very specific level.
Finally, Google Camera is making it easier for you to switch between video and photo modes with a button next to the shutter. This should be a lot quicker than swiping on the viewfinder like you used to have to do to switch between modes.
Even though these changes aren’t wildly changing the device itself, they’re starting to close the gap between Android and iPhone photography. So make sure your Android is running on the 4.4 update and start shooting off those selfies.